Jayhawk faithful in western Kansas

Posted on Jan 25, 2013 in Alumni News, News, and Sports

A group of Alumni Association and KU Athletics staff members journeyed west to Salina on Tuesday to visit with a few Presidents Club members, including Sara, c’96, m’00, m’04, and Peter, c’94, l’97, Johnston and Joyce, h’76, and Jim, b’77, Trower. Jim previously served on the Association’s Board of Directors, and both Jim and Peter serve on the North Central Alumni Chapter board.

Not surprisingly, the talk centered around the Jayhawks’ game that evening against Kansas State in Manhattan. Some found it odd that we bypassed the Little Apple and the game and were headed even further west to host a first-ever watch party in Hill City, which is 40 minutes northwest of Hays.

The gang arrived at a local establishment to meet the Jayhawk faithful. Keep in mind, this area is predominantly Wildcat territory. Naturally, we wore jeans, boots and Jayhawk gear–the latter resulting in some strange looks! Our host was none other than Butch Billips–farmer, rancher, Presidents Club member and purveyor of the finest steaks ever made.

img_news_salina_hillcityButch is widely known in KU circles as the fan who travels everywhere to see his beloved Jayhawks, while wearing his trademark cowboy hat. He’s also a cowboy chef of sorts: he prepared stuffed jalapenos, shrimp and beef skewers for the party of 15 held at the school house in Bogue, where these Jayhawks once went to elementary school. Like many small towns in Kansas, the school has closed and students from Bogue attend school in nearby Hill City.

A hard-fought game ended with the Jayhawks prevailing yet again. It truly makes a statement about our commitment to all areas of the state when we drive right by a KU game in Manhattan to host an event in an isolated area four hours from campus. There is no doubt that KU and the KU Alumni Association was the talk at the local coffee shops this week!

This weekend will feature meetings of the Association’s Board of Directors, followed by a quick trip to Phoenix to see alumni and donors and attend the KU Endowment‘s Far Above campaign event!

–Kevin J. Corbett, c’88, president of the KU Alumni Association

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